Cloud gaming is an exciting concept that continues to hover near the edge of incredible. However, such a service does, for obvious reasons, lack the kind of physical touchstones that can crystallize consumer engagement.
Which is why this new Xbox-branded mini controller is so exciting, despite being little more than a Bluetooth controller in Microsoft-approved duds.
Created by 8Bitdo, who has made wireless retro controllers in the past for systems such as the NES and Mega Drive, this is an official collaboration with Xbox and is officially licensed for use with xCloud.
The SN30 Pro Bluetooth Controller for Android as it’s officially called will be available in September, though that shouldn’t be taken as any indication of when Microsoft will officially launch xCloud beyond its current preview stage.
A controller such as this looks to be a key part of the service, as hefting a full-sized Xbox controller around with you day-to-day doesn’t sound ideal, and this controller has all the correct button labelling and placement to make it familiar to Xbox users.
It’s surprising that other cloud gaming platforms haven’t released official mobile controllers for their services, as it’s often touted as a major selling point.